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A friend told me that a baby’s fussiest period is between weeks 4-8. I am hoping this is true as we are smack in the middle of that window of time, and I can assure you that nothing is wrong with Rigby’s lungs. He exercises them most evenings, falling into the stereotypical baby bewitching hour(s) routine which consists of loud wails and Mama bouncing him up and down in the baby Bjorn or baby wrap while trying to eat dinner and then passing him off to Pops or Nonna while we do Jack’s bedtime story.

   
   

Our once magic sleeper-baby has woken up and turned into a real baby, a waker-baby. As of the past week, we seemed to have figured out our day time hours with a reliable routine of scheduled nursing times, the morning spent outside on the deck and then on a walk/run, 2 good naps (on his belly- please don’t tell the baby police!), and then a crying period around our dinner time. But the night time, well that is a different story. He easily falls asleep in his crib after he nurses at 7:30pm, but this is the last reliable part of our day, This waker-baby of ours is loud, like really very LOUD, and he has decided that the crib is not the place for him after 11:00pm. It turns out that he would like to be held all the time extra please, and he hasn’t the faintest idea how to fall asleep and gets rather upset about it. And when I say upset, I mean he wails, he does not simply whine or fuss.

   
 
 

Remarkably, I have faced this wakeful, refusing to sleep in his crib baby business with patience, which is probably an artifact of this being baby number two (and last) and understanding that it passes so quickly these sleepy (sleepless) days. Of course, there are times in the night I have to say to myself, quit it. He is a newborn. He doesn’t have to shape up. He doesn’t have to get with the program. He can do whatever he wants or needs. One day all this lack of sleep and discussion about how to approach the nights will be a distant memory. I think I perhaps see his worst at midnight. But I’m not really seeing him, I’m just fretting over my lack of sleep and his future sleep habits, which is undeniably important but not the stuff that defines life.

  
 

I love when I am able to stay in the moment and see his best. Like when he wakes up to the sunlight and stares at me with his big blue eyes as he nurses. When Jack comes into our room in the mornings and crawls into bed next to us and Rigby just stares in awe at his big brother. When he curls up on his play mat or in our bed to take his naps with his little bottom sticking up into the air and his hands folded up underneath his face. When he perches on my shoulder or chest and I rub his bare back that feels softer than the softest fabric. I love watching him watch shadows dance or the leaves blow in the breeze. I love to watch him discovering the world and appreciating the things that are wondrous but often taken for granted. I am thankful for theses moments when I can take pause and dream about who he is right now and who he will be.

  
   
   
  

Sleep or no sleep, we love you sweet Rigby!

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Last Tuesday marked my original due date and Rigby’s 16th day of life. Despite having to endure labor contractions, we feel so lucky that Rigby chose his own birthday and, particularly, that he chose to arrive early. My last weeks of pregnancy were pretty uncomfortable.  As expected, the days are slipping past so quickly; I wanted to capture some memories, along with many photos, of course, of Rigby’s first few weeks of life.

I unexpectedly went into labor at 4:00 in the morning of April 26th.  Jack, quite thankfully, was spending the night out at a dear friend’s house so despite not being able to tell him in person that his little brother was coming, we knew he would be well taken care of which eased our worries for him.  We got ourselves and things ready (since I had a c-section scheduled for May 5th, we had not yet packed our hospital bags or even installed the infant car seat!) and headed to the hospital around 8:30am. After being monitored and checked in triage for about an hour or so and learning (with great joy and relief) that my OB, Dr. Flum, was the OB on call that day, I started being prepped for Rigby’s birthday!

 

Rigby arrived at 11:31am on Sunday, April 26th. To say that the actual c-section was as different as night and day when compared to Jack’s isn’t quite doing it justice. It was strangely peaceful in the OR and I was completely pain free. The whole surgery was brief. They were able to pull Rigby’s head out without any trouble (even though his eyes and face were bruised to a bluish-purple like he was working really hard to try to push his way out), but his shoulders were wedged in pretty tight and they all commented that he was like a little line backer. When he was finally pulled out, he let us all hear how well his lungs were developed and when he gets mad, he still has this same very loud cry! When they showed him to us, our tears started flowing as we squeezed each other’s hands a bit tighter. There is nothing quite like meeting your babe for the first time.

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I only had to wait a few minutes until I was able to hold him skin to skin, and I just drank in that newborn smell while falling in love as his eyes met mine and he peered up at me as if he were thinking, “Oh, there you are! I’ve been anxious to meet you, Mama”. I was moved from the OR to the recovery room where we stayed for 2 hours under the care of a wonderful nurse, Allison. After recovery, I was moved down to the 4th floor, which became our base for the next two days and nights.

Shortly after being settled into the room, Jack was brought up to the hospital to meet his little brother. The meeting was such a sweet exchange between brothers that I hope was the beginning of a close lifetime bond between Jack and Rigby. I was holding Rigby in the bed as I was still unable to get up and Jack came right over to snuggle with us and then requested to hold Rigby himself. The love he felt immediately for his brother was so touching as he showered him with kisses and snuggles. Jack came back for a visit on night 2 and this time he ate his dinner with us before returning to another dear friend’s house for a 2 night sleepover. So thankful for such a wonderful community!

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We were discharged on Tuesday, a week before Rigby’s scheduled arrival, and we enjoyed a Thai food lunch with a beer to celebrate our homecoming. David picked Jack up from school that afternoon and we kicked off our life as a family of four. Jack has had some trouble adjusting to his role as big brother, but with every day, things seem to be getting a little better. And, despite, some unusually mean behaviors towards us which drives this hormonal Mama to near daily sobs, he has shown nothing but adoration towards Rigby and is always wanting to be close and to help. We have taken extra care to carve out some special activities for him like an ice cream outing and to uphold some of our typical routines like bedtime and morning book reading and drawing, but I know he is not so fond of Rigby being in my lap so often for nursing and the undeniable changes that have impacted his world, for good and bad.

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After a few days of just the four of us, our visitors began to arrive. First, came my Mom and Dad along with my Aunt Diane and Uncle Wayne.  We are so appreciative of my parents for agreeing to spend their summer here with us. It’s been so nice to be able to do the simple things like take a shower every day, to have help with errand running and meals, to have a clean kitchen at the end of the day, and, most importantly, to have their company.  Next, my sister arrived for nearly a week visit.  And, Mother’s Day weekend, brought the arrival of my wonderful sister-in-law, Martha. Having such great visitors was a treat for all of us, particularly for Jack.

So far Rigby is a dreamy newborn.  He nurses well, when I can keep him awake, and he is sleeping so well swaddled in his crib at night that we keep pinching ourselves and waiting for the day when he really wakes up and decides that he no longer likes sleeping or his crib!

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Rigby Joseph is now 3 weeks old and growing even faster than the weeds in our garden which we are currently not tending since we are busy tending to him.  He entered this world at 6 lbs and 11.2 oz and lost down to 5 lbs and 15 oz before his weight regain began. Now he weighs more than he did at birth.

He’s had a busy two weeks and checked off a lot of “firsts” for being such a little guy…he has been to his first doctor visit (twice, actually), his first tee ball game x 2, swim lesson x 2, a trip to a brewery and several meals at a restaurant, a stroller walk, Trader Joe’s shopping, his first holiday celebrations – both Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day, and his first picnic. The second child always achieves these firsts much sooner given life’s structure, I presume.

And, he has already earned several nicknames: Rig, Rigo, Rigster, Moonshine, and Rig-a-ma-roll.

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Oh, how all of our lives have changed in two weeks! I still have trouble believing that I actually get to kiss and hold and mother these two beautiful boys. I feel like the luckiest Mama, especially, since I have the most amazing life partner to share it all with.  These boys have a great Dada.

Welcome to the world baby Rigby…we love you so!

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2015/01/img_2204.jpg *photo taken at Carkeek Park, 24 weeks and 5 days

I love the surge of energy after the first semester energy drain. I’m thrilled about regaining my passion for being in the kitchen and eating healthful and flavorful food. Oh, there is nothing quite worse than not being able to think of one thing to eat that sounds good.

I love the flutters. The ones that start out so soft like tiny bubbles and then grow into strong kicks in the ribs and gut. These make me feel like so much a part of you, little guy. One of my favorite times of the day is when I lay down in bed to read at night and I can watch my stomach move as a result of your movements…it’s blissful and surreal. I love to watch your big brother talk to you and kiss you and rub you and call you by your name. The name thing really melts my heart. I am looking forward to watching our family bond and grow together.

While this pregnancy has not been an easy one, I still cherish the time I have left to keep you inside where we can be more connected than ever. As we embark on our last trimester together, growing with each other, and nourishing each other equally, I hope for peaceful days ahead as I take the time to slow down, continue to nest, and prepare to be your Mama. You cannot imagine how excited we are to meet you!

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IMG_9395I think most of you must know by now…but I will go ahead and publish the news here for record keeping’s sake. As of this week, I am 22 weeks pregnant (the more than halfway point!) and for what seems like months already, there has been no way of hiding this growing baby bump! All three of us are elated about the anticipated arrival of a baby boy due to join our family in May! Jack frequently hugs and kisses “his brother” (my belly) and talks to him often. It makes me a little giddy to think about that growing relationship of brotherhood and what I hope will be a fierce lifelong love and companionship.
IMG_9384A few quick updates on my pregnancy so far…

What I’ve been craving:

peppermint and chocolate combinations
tuna salad sandwiches
cold crunchy vegetables and salads, salads, salads!
grapefruit
smoked salmon
seafood
pasta dishes
chili

What I’m liking to drink:

hot water with lemon
ginger beer
flavored fizzy water

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How I’ve been feeling:

This pregnancy has been tremendously different than my pregnancy with Jack. I feel like I have had mild to moderate “morning” (otherwise known to all women who have been pregnant as “all day”) sickness nearly every day this time around. I already feel uncomfortably full after an even moderately sized meal and the left-sided rib pain I experienced, after eating or drinking anything, at the end of my first pregnancy started happening over 7 weeks ago! Oh boy!
But, man oh man, am I over the moon to be able to have this experience again just as we were trying to wrap our heads around and find peace with the idea that it likely wouldn’t happen.

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What I’ve been thinking about:
His name, which we formally agreed upon after seeing him at our 20 week ultrasound!
Making a point to spend really special time with Jack.
Mostly thinking about all that I love about the newborn stage (the sweet cuddles, the new baby smell, and the gentleness of an infant) but also about some of my not-so-favorite parts (lack of sleep and the inevitable worry about caring for someone so little and seemingly fragile and so so dependent).

What I’m worried about:
Admittedly, I am worried about my evolving relationship with Jack once the new baby arrives. I have had 5 years of building such a special bond with our little man that I’m afraid of this changing. I don’t ever want him to feel left out or replaced and I’m planning to work really hard to carve out special time with him next summer and I am so thankful that my parents will be spending the summer with us to help make him feel special and loved.
On one hand, I feel so ready for this new chapter… but on the other, I know that I’m not really “ready” at all, if that makes sense. I know it’ll be necessary to approach life with a “one day at a time” mentality, at least initially, and I hope I can do this with grace and patience while soaking up all the precious moments of infant hood and childhood.

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Thank you all for your love and support — I really do feel it from across the miles and it means so much. My word for this year is ‘Savor’ and that is just what I plan to do— through the second half of my pregnancy, during the early months of our growing family, and through all the changes this journey brings our way. I want to slow down, breathe deeply, and savor it all. xxo

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2014, you have been fun, busy, frustrating, wonderful, horrible, gut wrenching, filled with laughter, tears, happy hearts, and hearts that felt like they were breaking apart, lonely, dark, light, miraculous, and in the end both trying and awesome…full of adventure, pain, sadness, and happiness.

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2015, I already love you, and have big expectations for what you will bring to our family.  I am looking forward to a winter of snow adventures, to a spring of meeting and welcoming into the world the sweet bundle of love that has taken root in my belly, a summer of letting our hearts burst open with more love for our complete family than we can even imagine, and an autumn of our first baby going off to to Kindergarten to feed his curious and amazing mind and to begin his lifelong journey of learning.
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IMG_9400 IMG_9406^^^ All above pictures from Marshall Park, Queen Anne, Seattle; View of the Olympic Mountains IMG_9410 IMG_9424 IMG_9428 ^^^ Kerry Park View Point, Queen Anne, Seattle; View of Mt. Rainier and Downtown Seattle including Space Needle

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^^^ Kerry Park Lower Playground; Jack spinning and basking in the sun.

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IMG_2064^^^ New Year’s Eve Dinner at Local 360 in Belltown

I hope 2015 is filled with peace, adventure, joy, love, and bundles of fun for us all. Cheers to the New Year! xxo

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Wishing everyone a peaceful end to 2014 and a joyful start to the New Year! I hope the upcoming year holds as much fun as we had playing in the snow! If so, 2015 is going to be a good one!

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San Juan Island July 4th camping weekend: this is the trip when these two really bonded.

Heart swell…

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